The rapid, scary onset of COVID-19 made 2020 a very difficult year for H-E-B shoppers. Despite all signs pointing toward the pandemic impacting the holidays- forcing people to cancel or change their favorite traditions- many shoppers remained optimistic that this holiday season would be as magical as ever. In fact, ¾ of U.S. households were still really looking forward to making plans & celebrating the holidays (Meredith Media 2020). 91% of shoppers were really missing in-store shopping (Incisiv 2020), looking forward to what was usually the most festive, shoppable season of all.
Texans were heading straight for disappointment, which was the last thing anyone needed after suffering through a pandemic.
H-E-B saw the need to create some Texas-sized holiday magic to make it easy for shoppers to find the joy they so desperately needed during this holiday, in the aisles and at home.
Despite the holidays shaping up to be even more competitive in the Supers/Grocery retail industry, with competitors focusing their efforts on offering longer and more promotions, H-E-B took a gamble on innovation as a way to connect shoppers and bring them joy.
Together with partners Facebook and Groove Jones, H-E-B tapped into the magic of AR to make this holiday season exceed shoppers’ expectations for a fun and festive season. They ended up creating not one, but three forward & selfie facing camera holiday-themed AR experiences, designed to make Texans smile no matter where they were, or who they were celebrating with. Including,
To engage shoppers when they were most interested, H-E-B developed an assortment of entry points for these AR effects ranging from home to the store.
In just over three weeks in-market, our AR effects exceeded shoppers’ expectations- successfully bringing holiday joy to their homes (engagement) and exciting shoppers about shopping at H-E-B for their holiday needs (affinity and purchase intent).
This effort showed how well AR initiatives can build brand affinity and drive record-breaking Purchase Intent (even over a promotional campaign!). And counter to conventional belief, we saw that Boomer shoppers are ready for platform-led AR experiences!
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